We’re currently enjoying the makings of a fantastic postseason, so hearing anything relating to Barry Bonds is something of a downer, but here goes.
According to the Associated Press, Federal prosecutors on Friday submitted their list of witnesses they intend to call for Bonds’ long-delayed perjury hearing, scheduled to begin March 21 in San Francisco.
Nothing all that revelatory, as the the list of 25 witnesses doesn’t have any new names from the near-identical list prosecutors filed in February of 2009, a month before the trial was originally scheduled to begin. According to the report, the list includes Jason Giambi, Jason’s brother Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios, Marvin Bernard, Benito Santiago and Randy Velarde. Bonds’ former girlfriend, Kimberly Bell, and former football player Larry Izzo are also expected to testify.
Perhaps the most interesting thing to emerge from the AP report — it was new to me, anyway — is that prosecutors intend to use a urine sample Bonds provided as part of MLB’s testing program in 2003, which they say proves that he tested positive for steroid use.
OK, with that painful update out of the way, let’s get back to talking playoff baseball.
What happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object? Just ask Javier Baez, who tracked down a sizzling 106-MPH ground ball from Jose Bautista on Friday afternoon. The defensive gem helped preserve the Cubs’ three-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, paving the way for Wade Davis‘ 25th save of the season.
Baez also impressed at the plate, collecting an RBI single in the second inning before getting tagged out at home by Miguel Montero on a convoluted 9-6-3-6-2 putout. He returned in the eighth inning to pester Tim Mayza and cleared the left field hedge with a 409-foot, two-run blast for his 20th home run of the year. With the win, the Cubs improved to 64-57 and now hold a scant 1.5-game lead over the Brewers in the NL Central.
The Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.